Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Opening a briefcase I last used about fifteen years ago, I came upon a two-page document I used to carry round and read from time to time. It's called "Laugh your Way to Success"- I wanted to cite a reference to it but, unusually, it's not on the web. There are, to be sure, lots of things with the same title but none of them is what I'm looking for. So I'll have to type it all out for you. Meanwhile, here's the final sentence - If you see someone without a smile, give them yours. In this way you will never be short of friends. OK, two sentences.

For those who are very committed to their religion, here's a question you might like to ponder - "What would I have believed if I'd been born 2,500 years ago". Certainly neither Christianity nor Islam. So, in reality, one's religion is an accident of time and birthplace.
Which should surely lead to some soul-searching. Unless you're now a Zoroastrian, you certainly would have believed something markedly different from what you believe now. Raising the question of whether you would have made it to the Heaven or Paradise you now aspire to.

After I'd published yesterday's post, I discovered an apposite paragraph I'd previously jotted in my notepad. And, as I don't want to waste it, here it is:- Greece: So, what next? You'll recall that Plan A was to take effective control of the Greek government; impose the harshest possible austerity on the feckless populace; and ignore the will of the people. But we don't know what Plan B is. Indeed, is there a Plan B? Or are there several, the preferred one being dependent on exactly how Plan A is thwarted? Will Greece be allowed/forced to leave the eurozone? Or will Brussels just send in the troops to enforce implementation of the austerity measures, accompanied by David Bowie and Mick Jagger singing Rioting in the Street? I guess nobody knows. Least of all the bureaucrats in Brussels.

Talking of bureaucrats, the UK Minister Vince Cable believes the tide is turning against EU bureaucracy. And that, ultimately, "a new progressive European majority will replace the dinosaurs of the past". The impetus, he says, is coming from a "like-minded group" of 15 of the 27 members of the EU. Other optimists, especially in the Guardian, see evidence of a softening of the EU/German stance on austerity and harsh deficit targets. Sometimes I wonder whether commentators don't see things that fit with their political leanings, with everyone else missing them. We see what we want to see, in other words.

And what of Germany and her response to the weekend's developments? Well, even AEP is an optimist this week and reckons that our temporary Teutonic masters have had to cede ground in the face of an insurrection that was inevitable." This phase of the crisis is over" he says. "Now Germany itself will have to adjust." More here.

Interesting. Only a few minutes after bringing up the page of one of our local Thai restaurants, I get a spam message in (Latinised) Thai. A coincidence? Possibly not. But how do they do it?

Finally . . . A woman in Epsom here in the UK had her rubbish/garbage bin stolen. When she asked the local council to send her another one, they told her she needed to report the theft to the police and to get a crime number. After she'd got this, the police called to offer 'crime victim counselling'. When she queried the relevance (sanity?) of this, she was told "We have to do it". Which presumably explains why policemen have disappeared from the streets of Britain. Though they appear many times a day on the road through Headingley in fast, garish, siren-crazy cars.

8 comments:

Azra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Azra said...

Not necessarily. The Qur'an speaks of Dhul Qarnain - a Persian King who lived a few thousand years before the Prophet. The Qur'an mentions he was a monotheistic believer and a good man who The Almighty favoured. This was hundreds of years before Islam existed - Monotheism being the core focus of the religion that we know today. It's too bad that people have thwarted the message to suit their own agendas.

And LOL at the woman who "needs counselling" just so that they can replace her bin. Ludicrous.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I think I agree pretty much with Azra. Although there naturally are tremendous differences, a core monotheism was already present by roughly 1350 BCE, at the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV / Akhnaton, and somewhat more obliquely in the Pan-deism of the Theban Amon-Ra cult in later centuries.

Also, if you look at the so-called ‘Negative Confession’ from the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ (16th C BCE, but with much older roots still), you will find a value-system which is identical in many aspects to Biblical ethics. So Plus Ça Change…

Colin said...

Do you know all this esoteric, Alfie? Or do you make it up as you go along . . . . .? JUst jesting.

One point - OK, there were some monotheisms but I guess the majority of folk back then believed in a range of gods. Unlike today.

Or - we can go back before there were any monotheistic religions to make my point that one's religion is an accident of time and place. The number of years I chose was arbitrary.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Dear Colin,

Well.. I know it sounds a little like name-dropping, but I do know what I'm speaking about, and I figured that today's blog-readers are perfectly able to Google up, or auto-Wikipedia themselves, into the necessary background info if so desired.

Today's people also believe in a range of gods. They simply no longer call them Gods. Some call them saints. Others call speak of Principles. Or Values. or Natural Laws. Or... you name it.

But I agree that the particular shape that one's belief in the Metaphysical takes is indeed a matter of time and place of birth.

Yours ABM

Colin said...

I thought it was only our mutual, Peter Missler, who is an egyptologist. Can there really be two of you with this esoteric knowledge? I suspect you got your info from him so that you could masquerade as an expert. I will check with him . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...

DO NOT SLANDER ALFRED B MITTINGTON YOU LIVERPUTIAN OAF!

Alfred B Mittington does not need some silly Danish scribbler to lecture upon the Ancient World. I was practically born in the Ancient World so my expertise is first hand, faultless, and fabulous.

I am considering unsubscribing from your blog.

The cheek!

A.B. Mittington, Ph D

Colin said...

I knew you were old but I didn't realise how ancient.

I thought Peter was Dutch, not Danish.

Sorry about the words missing from earlier messages. Atlas continues to nod, along with the occasional Randy shrug.

One was supposed to refer to 'our mutual Dutch friend'.

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